Modest Mouse – Good News For People Who Love Bad News

Scrupulously weird indie-rock from Seattle suburbs

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Britain may have wearied of off-kilter college rock around the time that Pavement split up, but in America the audience for self-consciously alternative music continues to grow. Hence the amazing success of Modest Mouse, whose 10 years of diligently cultivating quirks climax with this sixth album. There are some pleasantly elaborate, wayward songs here, particularly when chief Mouse Isaac Brock betrays his debts to The Pixies, Sparklehorse and Built To Spill. Forays into funk and Tom Waits’ scrapyard are cringe-inducing, though, and it’s hard to admire a band gauche enough to call a song “Bukowski”.

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